Monday, December 13, 2010

The in laws or the "out" laws

My in laws suck. I understand that I left their son and all but did they have to drop me like a hot potato? The people have not reached out to me even once! I have sent letters and emails. I MAILED a freakin' letter people, old school. Nada. Nothing. Zip.  Some character back round : in laws run their own Baptist church if that helps paint the picture,  FIL is the preacher and MIL is the preachers wife. Their relationship with their son is estranged and they have always kept him and us at arms length. Yet, I have comforted his mother after the loss of her youngest son. I have encouraged contact, invested in them with time, effort, and heart. I left Pie's Dad in September. My birthday is in October. Did the in laws send a card? You guess. No really, what do you think? Yeah, you're right they didn't.

I know in their eyes I am a hedonist whom has made bad choices in life but I am raising their granddaughter. They understand our challenges because their daughter (SIL) is also raising a child with autism. I just don't understand their distance and lack of interest.

I want the idyllic family life. My family is crazy in a very real way and I cannot have healthy relationships with them. I have boundaries instead. I long for deep connections, shared history, loving acceptance and maybe that doesn't exist. I certainly haven't found it with anyone aside from my daughter. I was hopeful that I would forge a new relationship with the in laws after I split with Piper's father. I guess that's the irritation, that it just doesn't seem like it's possible or that they are interested. It makes me sad for Piper and for myself. I feel like I'm a good person but I begin to doubt it because of this lack of family. I feel it implies to others that I'm somehow soiled , or tarnished "her own family doesn't want her" they must think.

I suppose it doesn't truly matter. I have many loving relationships with good people who support me. At the end of the day isn't that what life is all about? I guess it's the Holiday's and all that Hallmark expectation and crap that's got me musing.

Bah! It's more fun to be an "outlaw" anyway!


  1. I was just having a conversation today with a friend of mine...we both have dysfunctional families and share lots of stories. I was telling her that the holidays make you feel like you are supposed to have an idyllic family situation, but very few people really do. If you think about it, we get that impression from completely fictional holiday movies or even commercials. I don't know anyone who gets a Lexus with a big red bow on it for Christmas. And have you seen that one Olive Garden one where the cousins are all getting together. My cousins wouldn't spit on me if I was on fire. I'm letting an effing Olive Garden commercial depress me!!

    My in-laws would be the last place that I'd look for "family" if/when my husband and I get divorced, but I understand your desire for that connection. I hope that you find it someday, but in the meantime know that you are probably in the majority and not the minority in your current situation.

  2. Thank you Lynn for the reality check and encouragement. It is connection I'm after I see that, and like everything else I've done in this life I most likely wont find it in the traditional way. I think you hit it right on the money. The idyllic life/family doesn't exist. Yet another reason I am happy with my decision to keep our celebrations confined to the people that truly matter and the only gifts we'll exchange are presence.

    PS I used to work at the Olive Garden in High School. I don't eat there any more. Enough said.

  3. Family matters, but who you count as family matters more. Count those who matter to you as family, whether they are related to you or not. If the in-laws are so foolish(and unchristian!) as to deny themselves the joy of a granddaughter, they are the worse for it. Turn your back, dust off the soles of your feet, and never look back. You've got a wonderful future ahead of you, focus on that for the holidays!

    Oh, and I loved the bacon!